Vancouver police dog mistakenly bites innocent elder

Matt Lawson / October 31, 2018

Police Dog running an obstacle course.
(Adam Sanders / Flickr)

The Vancouver Police Department said that at just after 5:30-pm Tuesday evening, three men were arrested for an alleged crime spree involving multiple burglaries.

Two of the men were apprehended in the parking lot of the Fraser Arms Hotel on Southwest Marine Drive, but the third suspect took off on foot and attempted two unsuccessful car-jackings. The VPD K-9 unit chased down the man and put him in handcuffs.

Unfortunately, the VPD said that a police dog mistakenly bit an innocent 75-year-old bystander. The man was taken to hospital, treated, and then released.

“This is very rare and we’re sorry that it happened, and we’re doing our best to make sure this doesn’t occur again.” – Constable Jason Doucette, VPD

This isn’t the first time this kind of mistake has been made. Back in April of 2017, a VPD K-9 mistakenly attacked an 87-year-old woman while she was tending to her garden. The woman was also hospitalized and later released after being treated.

On average, police dogs are trained for three-to-four months before being put out in the field. According to The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, the VPD saw 122 reports of injury caused by K-9 bites in 2017, accumulating over 29% of total reports.

“Our goal here is to make sure we identify what happened and what we can do to prevent it in the future” – Constable Jason Doucette, VPD

The VPD said there are many rules and regulations in place to ensure that their dogs are used and deployed properly. They also could not confirm whether or not the dog that bit the 75-year-old bystander will be taken off the force and won’t be able to until the investigation is concluded.